January 13, 2023
To my MS patients,
With great excitement I am announcing the launch of a new Multiple Sclerosis clinic in Calgary. This clinic will be located at the Alberta Neurologic Centre (ANC) which is a well-established community neurology clinic where I am a part-owner. Initially the ANC MS clinic will offer care to my existing patients but in the next few years it will be become a unique option for MS care for patients living in Southern Alberta. I appreciate the trust you have bestowed upon me and hope that you will choose to join me in this new venture. However, should you decide to keep your care at the SHC MS clinic you will be connected with a new neurologist for your next visit.
I have decided to start this clinic so that I can have more control about how MS care is delivered to my patients. My goal is to create a patient-centered clinic with improved accessibility and optimal communication between patients and their health care team. Initially, I will be supported by two nurse practitioners, a nurse, and a team of excellent medical office assistants. I have been able to select this team based on their proven success in providing high quality patient-centered care. There will also be a physiatrist working with me in the clinic and a physiotherapist. As we grow, we will look at expanding our allied health offerings with in-house mental health counsellors, psychiatry and social workers and we will look to make partnerships with other community-based practitioners including occupational therapy and dieticians.
This clinic will continue to be publicly funded and operate within the umbrella of Alberta Health but outside the bureaucracy of an AHS institution. This transition will have no bearing on your insurance coverage for disease modifying therapy (DMT) or access to MRI within the hospitals nor will there be any charges for being a patient or seeing a doctor here. Unlike the AHS MS clinic, access to allied health services (i.e. physiotherapy, occupational therapy, social work, psychology, dietician etc.) would require some form of private insurance or extended health benefits although we will work with those who cannot afford this to try to find a solution. For those who are on DMT, allied health services would be covered by the same insurance that covers your medications. For those who are not on DMT and do not have private insurance, Blue Cross coverage can be purchased for ~$60 per month for an individual or ~$120 per month for a family.
The clinic is located in SW Calgary on 17th avenue and 15th street. There is limited pay parking on the north side of our building and ample street parking within 1-3 blocks of the clinic. By Spring 2023 we will have 3 handicap designated parking spots. The parking lot is small and gets congested so if you have issues with mobility we can work to schedule your appointment at off-peak hours (ex. first appointment of the morning, last appointment of the day).
Reasons to move your care to the Alberta Neurologic Centre:
If you would prefer to keep your care with me instead of having to transfer to a new neurologist
Our focus on improving communication with patients
We will make use of a secure health messaging system for appointment and MRI notifications
We will create a personalized MS care team for each patient with myself as your physician and a specific nurse practitioner, nurse and physiotherapist (if needed) so there is more consistency in the providers you see
I plan to create and moderate an online, private forum for any of my patients who are interested to exchange information and answer questions
3. Potential for patient partnership within the clinic
As an example, a number of my patients have expressed their desire for a patient support group connected with the. This has been successful with a group of cognitive patients within ANC and we believe that we can offer something similar to our MS patients
4. Novel booking procedure
Phone (text or call) and Email notifications – no mailed letters!
We will send out pre-appointment questionnaires so that I am prepared to focus on your main concerns and you have to spend less of our time together “catching me up”
We will attempt to arrange same day appointments with different providers (i.e. you might see me, the physiotherapist and the nurse all on the same day)
5. More opportunity to connect with healthcare providers
Increased ability for breakthrough appointments (phone, in-person, via secure health messaging)
6. If you are looking for a novel, innovative care model
I am very excited to embark on this new adventure. I think that I can provide excellent care to my patients by employing a novel approach focused on the physician-patient partnership.
If you would like to transition your care to the ANC MS clinic, please leave click on the secure link below and complete the registration form
Jonathan Fridhandler, MD, FRCPC Neurology, CSCN (EMG)
Fellowship in Multiple Sclerosis and Neuroimmunology
Partner, Multiple Sclerosis Clinic Director, Alberta Neurologic Centre